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P Erverse construction of a plain intent,
N Either is scorn’d, respected, or disguis’d:
LO sing of their slight loves, who never meant
PE culiar knowledge, willingly is priz’d,
CONT Ented happiness, Secured peace,
OF self content is ever happiest ease.
DEVO tion to the careless is meer folly,
No S H allow envy of malicious IRE,
Can move my resolution, grounded wholly
On hopes of better judgment, I desire
The favour of my favourers, not any
Unwilling eyes, I strive not to please many.
Non omnibus studeo,
Our youthful poet seems sadly put to his wits to make out this precious Acrostic, which, I presume, may be fairly set down as the worst that ever passed the press.
Swift Time, the speedy pursuivant of heaven,
Summons to glorious virtues canoniz’d,
The lasting volume where worth roves uneven,
In brazen characters immortaliz'd;
Where merit lives embraced, base scorn despis'd :
Link'd to untainted truth, sprung from the same,
Beget his eaglet-tow'ring daughter Fame.
Fame, she who long couch'd her imperial crown
Within the blinded dark of swarthy night,
Soars now aloft triumphant up and down,
With radiant splendour gayer than the light,
And by how much more known so much more bright:
Proclaims aloud defiance to disdain,
Which her with thoughts profane should entertain.
Nor doth she lacky in this vale of mud,
This razed world, but still in state arise,
Lifting her plumed crest from out the flood
Of sea and land: while she with wonder flies
About the circle of the topless skies;
And spirits most heroic doth enflame,
With adoration of her sacred name.
Base Fear, the only monument of slaves,
Progenitor to shame, scorn to gentility,
Herald to usher peasants to their graves,
Becomes abjected thoughts of faint servility;
While haughty Fame adorns nobility,
Planting her gorgeous throne upon the crest
Of honour, casqued in a royal breast.
This makes gross dregs of souls admire the verse
Of shrill-strain's Arts-men, whose ambrosiac quills,
While they desert's Encomiums sweet rehearse,
The world with wonder and amazement fills,
Affrighted with the threats of horrid ills:
Astonishing the chaff of pamper'd men,
With high-rear'd accents of their golden pen.
O that some sacred poet now surviv'd,
Some Homer to new mourn Achilles loss,
Our dear Achilles loss, of life depriv'd,
Who living, life in danger's death did toss,
Nor daunted with this hazard, or that cross:
O that he lived with scholys most divine,
To cote and add one worthy to the Nine!
The Nine had pass'd for saints, had not our time
Obscured the beams of their bright splendent praise,
By a more noble Worthy whose sublime
Invicted spirit, in most hard assays,
Still added reverent statues to his days:
Surmounting all the Nine in worth as far
As Sol the tincture of the meanest star.
Now hovering Fame hath veil'd her false recluse,
Makes reputation and belief her warrant,
Wonder and truth her convoy to traduce,
Her train of shouts accomplishing her errant,
Venting concealed virtue now apparent:
Imprints in canons of eternal glory,
Worth's monumental rites, great MountJoy's story.
Great MountJoy! were that name sincerely scann'd,
Mysterious hieroglyphics would explane;
Each letter's allegory grace the hand,
By whom the sense should learnedly be drawn,
To stop the dull conceits of wits profane:
Diving into the depth of hidden art,
To give but due to each deserving part.
That is with homage to adore thy name,
As a rich relic of Memorial,
A trophy consecrated unto fame,
Adding within our hearts historical,
High epithets past hyperbolical;
Yet all too mean to balance equal forage,
And sympathize in jointure with thy courage.
Live, O live ye! whom poets deck with lies,
Raising your deeds to fame's which never end,
Our patriot stains your fictions, no disguise
Of painted praise his glory shall extend,
His own great valour his deserts commend:
Such is his sounding notice all do know it,
No poet can grace him, he every poet.
None him, he all can grace; his very story
Gives laurel, to the writer crowns of bay;
The title of his name attributes glory,
The subject doth the author's skill bewray,
Enlarging still his theme and scope to say:
Nor is one found amongst a world of men,
Who perfect can his actions with his pen.
Had he himself like Julius Cæsar wrote,
While as he liv'd his own acts' commendation,
In fluent commentaries us’d to cote,
Each hazard's conquest by a true probation,
Exemplified with terms of art's relation:
Then had he wing'd in height of fame for ever,
His fame, his name, as now, been razed never.
Go, yet rich-stiled peer and overtake,
Thyself shalt privilege thyself by merit,
Thy soul's united Essex for whose sake,
Thou didst advance thy love, which did inherit
The dear reversion of his elate spirit:
Then go, great MountJoy, lustre of this age,
Pace still thy name in pompous equipage.
When first his birth produced this prime of hope,
An imp of promise mild proclivity;
Gracious aspects even in his horoscope,
Predominated his nativity,
Allotting in his arm nobility:
That being nobly born he might persever,
Enthron'd by fame, nobilitated ever.